For some entrepreneurs, being your own boss and working close to home are reasons to buy a business, says Djenane Bartholomew, who with her husband bought a franchise outlet of Let's Yo Yogurt in central New Jersey, after 10 years of running both a Subway and Dunkin Donuts in New York City.
"The commute to the city was getting to us," says the 35-year-old former nurse who says she had no trouble selling her New York franchises. "This is much closer to where we live. It's hard work, but I love what I do and like being in charge."
As for selling a business, reasons can vary from realizing the 24/7 of being a business owner is overwhelming, selling to fund retirement and other lifestyle needs, or facing new and costly challenges.
"I'd experienced success and failure, and I understood that to take my business to a global market took more money than the cash reserves I had," says 39-year-old Fadi Shuman, who sold his New York based digital marketing business, Pod1, in June of this year to a larger firm that still employs him as CEO.
"The buyer of the firm had all the resources to ensure future success of the business and at the end of 11 years of running it, and about to turn 40 with a new wife and child, it was harder to risk it all as I had earlier," Shuman says.
Another reason to sell is a deal that's too good to turn down, says 44-year-old John Rotche who sold his Michigan based air duct firm DUCTZ in 2007.
"I wasn't planning to sell but the company that bought us approached me," says Rotche, now president of TITLE Boxing Club, a fitness workout franchise firm.
"My first reaction was not to do it," Rotche says, who stayed on with DUCTZ for a while to help run the firm. "I started out the company in my daughter's bedroom in 2003 and we had a lot of success. But the offer was too hard to refuse."
Rotche adds that selling his business taught him how to run one.
"When you do the due diligence for a sale, answer all the questions and put a business plan together, it's like a final exam," Rotche says. "It makes you so much smarter when you start a new business."
As for the right time to sell or buy a small business—bad economy or not—it always comes down to the business itself, says Russ Allred.
"It's always a good time to sell a business when it's profitable," Allred argues. "Conversely, the best time to buy a business is when the buyer has good credit, financing and time to negotiate. It's just not always easy right now to get to those conditions for either side."
By CNBC.com senior editor Mark Koba.
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